Squirrel in the oak flowers

Squirrels are true omnivores, they eat anything. This one is browsing either on the male flowers of an oak tree or on the new leaf buds. To eat either, the squirrel bites off the whole tuft of new leaves and all the flowers, and when it has eaten the tastiest pieces it throws the rest on the ground.

When you find the ground beneath an oak tree littered with bunches of bright green new leaves and tassels of yellow catkins, there is a grey squirrel somewhere above who has just finished a meal.

Oak trees deal in big numbers though; in a good year a mature oak can produce 10,000 acorns and 200,000 leaves. So the squirrel is probably not doing much damage to the tree at this stage.

It is later in the year, when squirrels strip bark from trees to reach the sweet sap just underneath, that they do cause real harm.

Photographs by DKG


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